It is with deep sadness that we announce the news that Heather Jones, the inaugural Senior Program Manager for the FASD Hub, passed away at home on Saturday 7 January 2023, surrounded by her loved ones.
Heather began working at the Telethon Kids Institute from 2010 as a member of the project team undertaking development work on the diagnostic instrument for FASD, and was appointed as the FASD Hub’s Senior Program Manager in 2016. Under Heather’s stewardship, the FASD Hub website officially launched on FASD Awareness Day in 2017. Through her sustained efforts over the years, the Hub has continued to grow to become one of the leading sources for FASD information nationally.
Heather never refused the invitation to share her knowledge. She was at ease talking to government, researchers and clinicians and was instrumental in developing education programs for police, magistrates, and other justice professionals across the state, an extensive body of work that led to the Banksia Hill grant award.
Heather's contribution extended to the FASD Community, she formed deep connections with people living with FASD and their families making sure they were the centre of every project and event. The 'Heather Jones Community Award' was created in her honour to recognise those who show an extraordinary commitment to raising awareness and understanding of FASD.
Heather was a true champion of others, especially young and emerging researchers, who would often receive a tap on the shoulder with encouragement to apply for a certain grant she had found. She saw every challenge as an opportunity and was truly one of the hardest working people at the Institute – thinking nothing of starting her working day at 5am.
In her twelve years at Telethon Kids, Heather became a familiar face to many outside of her team. She was always keen for a chat and took a genuine interest in the lives of all whom she met.
Her children and grandchildren were her proudest achievements, and she took much pleasure in the fact that their photos grace the pages of many Telethon Kids reports and banners.
Our thoughts are with her family, especially her children Ngaire and Aaron, and her grandchildren Scarlett, Remy and Noa.